With the PR material stating that this is “Screaming Heavy Metal” from Canada, the review could stop there! That’s all you need to know. Riot City are from Alberta, and this is a band whom I have followed since buying their ‘Livin’ Fast’ demo tape. This subsequently featured on the Divebomb Records 2016 compilation CD “Masters of Metal Vol I”, that also featured Old Wolf, Crypt Sermon and Hellrazor. The basic principles are, metal, leather, spikes and the mighty Judas Priest.
You cannot fail to hear their influence, the opener ‘Warrior of Time’, well this just ticks all of my boxes right from the start. This has the famous galloping guitars, a vast range of vocal talent, some ripping fret work and a lyric that’s simply heavy metal. Their older track ‘Burn the Night’ has had a refresh; this and ‘329’ remind me of the UK’s Toldeo Steel. Thundering drums, fast paced youthful energy; it’s a true metal scenario. ‘The Hunter’ is a proper epic, its starts out damn fine, has a brief break in the middle then changes tact and goes to another level for the latter part of the track. Riot City certainly displays their ability to write some great arrangements.
Whether you are ‘Livin’ Fast’ or hungover at ‘Halloween at Midnight’, you have a solid metal album that you will return to time and time again. There is no doubt where the influence lies, there is no doubt this is a great record, the only thing I would say is a little hit and miss is the artwork, it’s a touch close to ‘Screaming for Vengeance’, but hey, this is the perfect piece of reference material. I don’t feel they are cloning that said album or band, it’s truly their own representation, that why I feel this is so far one of THE albums of the year for myself.
I will look forward to seeing them in Germany next year, if not sooner.
(9/10 Paul Maddison)